Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Paradox of Life

by Clint Byars

Life is a paradox. We want to plan for the future and provide for our loved ones but must also learn to live in the “now.” We want to enjoy living our lives and explore everything yet we have a deep sense to fulfill our call and only live for the Lord.

Spiritually, believers are complete in Jesus but we are in a state of continual mind renewal to be transformed into the very image of Christ in this world. We want Jesus to “come quickly” but we are to be about our Father’s business seeing the continual increase of his kingdom through our influence in the world. Each human on the planet has their own responsibility to follow God and experience His provision yet we are to clothe and feed the poor, take care of widows and preach the Gospel in all the world.

These ideas are not either/or, they are to be lived simultaneously. Living content in everything, in every situation but always desiring God’s glory to be fully manifested in every situation. I don’t call it tension, I call it life. These ideas create tension when we approach our “call” from a mind set that we’re somehow not fulfilling our purpose if we’re not doing enough. Lack, in any form, should never define our call.

Have you ever felt like you weren’t fulfilling your call?
Have you ever felt like you were always waiting for something to happen?
Have you struggled with feeling like you’re not doing enough?

Everyone feels that way at times, you’re not alone. The truth is we can never do enough to repay God for the salvation we’ve been given in Jesus. The good news is he’s not asking us to repay him, he’s wanting us to enjoy our salvation. In fact, He created this planet for us to enjoy life and our relationship with Him. Life has never been about finding out what we’re supposed to do for God.

Our purpose is to be God’s child. Once we receive Christ’s righteousness, we have fulfilled our purpose. From there we are free to discover our call. But if we never walk out our call we are just as valuable to God, just as righteous, just as spiritual, just as saved as any who does many great works in His name.

We find a tension in our redeemed state. The greatest strength and source of peace we can experience is through resting in the complete work of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The paradox arises as we’re resting. Never again are we to work for righteousness, blessing, favor, wisdom or acceptance but when these spiritual blessings bear fruit in our hearts, all we want to do is make an impact in people’s lives with the love of God.

A mature believer’s paradox is to rest in him but give up our lives to the degree that the only things we do are the things that our Lord would lead us to do. Every believer wants to only say and do what God’s spirit would lead us to say and do but the believer who doesn’t do that from a place of completeness in Christ will experience a conflict, feeling like they’re not doing enough.

The only way to truly discover your call is to be rock solid in your purpose of being God’s child.

Philippians 4:6 "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Take some time to listen to this message in which I go into much more detail about these ideas.

Watch a 7-minute YouTube video on this message.

Visit Clint's website:  ForwardMinistries.org



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Owl Flies Into the Driver's Car Window - Great Recovery Story

This is the amazing story of an owl that flew straight into the window of a moving car. Not only did he, and the driver, miraculously survive the accident, but after breaking both wings, the owl became a surrogate parent in the hospital for orphaned owlets before he was finally released back to the wild in the backyard of the very man whose vehicle he collided with. All, thanks to a caring community of rehabilitators and volunteers.



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Are You Allowing Pride to Start Disagreements?

"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!" - Psalm 133:1

[David] is talking about living our regular, day-to-day life united with our brothers and sisters in Christ. In most communities, the Christian church is splintered down theological and stylistic lines. While I would agree that there are some crucial theological roots that must be held fast among Christians, there are many narrower branches of theology that need not divide us.

Our trouble comes when we cling to those branches instead of the roots that are planted deep in the Rock of Ages. To the world and to each other we appear far apart and divided. When James and John bickered over who would sit at the right and left hand of God, they gave us a perfect example of how small the things that we tend to argue over look when in proper perspective.   Read the entire article.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Healing Is The Children's Bread

by Andrew Wommack

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. -- Mark 7:27

This was a strong statement that Jesus made to a woman who came to ask Him to heal her daughter. Jesus was telling her that she had no right to ask for healing, since she wasn’t Jewish. Wisely and remarkably, this woman humbled herself and pleaded for mercy instead of trying to demand her rights. She didn’t have any rights. And when Jesus had mercy on her, she returned home to find her daughter healed. It’s that simple. She received based on Jesus, not on what she deserved.

Many of you may wonder, If God heals today, then where is it? How do I get it to manifest? You believe it works, but you don’t know how. Maybe you’ve seen someone stand and not get healed. Or maybe you have stood for your own healing and not seen it manifest. Whichever it is, your faith has been shaken as a result. Well, I want you to know that God wants you well. And I want to share with you how it works.

One of the things you have to be convinced of before you even approach this is that healing is in Christ’s atonement. Look at what it says here in 1 Peter, talking about Jesus:

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. -- 1 Peter 2:24

Notice how it says Jesus took stripes for your healing! It's yours! It's one of the things Jesus bought for you through His sacrifice! And this verse says, "Ye were healed" (emphasis mine)-past tense. This is such a clear statement that I wonder how any Christian could not believe that. But I've learned that many people don't let the Bible get in the way of their theology. Even some who believe God can heal don't believe He will or has already healed. They say things like, “Well, God heals but not all the time. Sometimes it’s not His will." But it's hard to argue with a past-tense statement like that of 1 Peter 2:24.

It's taken from a prophecy Isaiah gave in Isaiah 53:5, which says, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Some people try to make this mean that Jesus only took stripes for our spiritual healing. Well, He did suffer for our spiritual health, but let’s look at how the prophecy was fulfilled:

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: [17] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Matthew 8:16-17, brackets mine

This makes it clear that Jesus suffered for your healing. It belongs to you!

Healing is the children’s bread. It’s your portion. It's what God has given to you. If you're a Christian, healing belongs to you! If you just meditate on the implications of this for a while, it'd go a long way toward seeing your healing manifest. You’d just realize, I don't have to be sick. That's exactly right.

Many people believe that God wants them well, but they don’t understand how it works. I’ve got a lot of revelation on this. I don’t know it all; I haven’t arrived, but I’ve left. And I’ve seen awesome miracles, including my own son being raised up after over four hours of death.

What I want to do with the rest of the space of this letter is share with you some healing testimonies of how these principles have worked in people’s lives. These are regular people just like you and me. Don’t think that they are better than you or more spiritual—that is not what this is about. This is about what Jesus paid for and not about your performance. This isn’t just hearsay. You can see and hear these testimonies and eighteen others online, at www.awmi.net/extra/healing.

HANNAH’S STORY

From the time Hannah Terradez was born, she had a rare autoimmune disease called eosinophilic enteropathy, which meant her body built up allergies to nearly every kind of food. Her immune system would attack food she'd eat and then reject it. There was no known cure, only a radical survival method: a feeding tube. And at the age of three years old, she was still wearing nine-month-old baby clothes!

But one day, her parents, Ashley and Carlie, got hold of one of my old tapes and heard me say, "By His stripes, we were healed." After the tape finished, they'd heard the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news. Hope began to arise in their hearts. Carlie said, "We'd never heard Scripture revealed so clearly and simply. The Word took root in our hearts and became more real to us than what the doctors were saying." Then Carlie realized that Hannah had spoken like this every night for their bedtime prayer, saying, "Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me and for healing me." They just realized that in her childlike faith, she had been praying a profound truth all along. It was a done deal!

The next day, they found where I was holding meetings and brought Hannah to have me pray for her. I told them it was a piece of cake for God to heal her and all they needed to do was agree with me in prayer. I took authority over Satan, telling him to leave, and commanded Hannah's body to stop attacking food and to be well. Then I told Ashley and Carlie they needed to walk out what they believed.

They would have eased her into a normal diet, but once again, Hannah was ahead of them,saying, "I want to go to McDonald's!" And that settled it for Ashley and Carlie. They couldn't find a McDonald's, so they took her to Kentucky Fried Chicken, where she ate chicken nuggets, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, chocolate, and fruit juice for the first time in her life! She’s been eating normally ever since! Praise the Lord!

How did this happen? They got hold of the truth that by Jesus' stripes, Hannah was healed, and then with childlike faith-BOOM-her healing manifested! And it wasn't just because I prayed for them. They had to stand on this for themselves when the symptoms tried to come back.

MIKE’S STORY

Let me share with you one more testimony. This one's about Mike Hoesch. Back in 2000, he had an itch on his chest that persisted, and when he examined the area, and he noticed a pimple-sized sore. He dismissed it, but the itch remained.

Months passed and the sore hadn’t gone away; it began to worsen. Although he believed in healing, he'd been involved with a ministry for twenty years that focused on performance-based doctrine. So, while he knew healing was available, he believed it was conditional upon his efforts. He continued to suffer, as the sore began to grow.

After trying herbal remedies, to no avail, he went to see a doctor, thinking it was no problem. But when he learned it was a malignant neoplasm, a cancerous skin tumor, he panicked! But not wanting to do anything driven by fear, Mike cancelled his appointment with the surgeon.

Over the next several years, the growth became a very large and troublesome tumor requiring cleaning and bandaging several times a day. The tumor slowly drained the life out of him, and in his weakened condition, he was forced to quit his job.

Mike purposed in his heart that he would seek the Lord and spend time in His Word. While his intentions were good, he struggled as he began to see things in the Word contrary to what he had been taught over the previous twenty years. Still confused, he began confessing healing Scriptures, not out of understanding, but out of a desire to earn his healing.

One day, as he was wrestling with faith and his beliefs, a friend brought him my teaching You’ve Already Got It! As he began listening, the Lord confirmed things He had been showing Mike in the Word. He started rejoicing: “It just blessed me so much when I heard Andrew sharing these things. It was like, yes, yes, I’ve already got it! I was waiting for the Lord to intervene again on my behalf, but He had already done that in Christ. Everything that I had, every sickness, disease, or sin that I’ll ever commit or had committed-Christ bore!” With his faith strengthened, Mike completely let go of his tumor, switching his focus to Jesus, to receive what He had provided.

A month after this, his wife noticed the tumor had decreased in size. At one time, this would’ve sent Mike through the roof rejoicing, but because of his newfound steadfastness in the Word, his reaction was one of calm expectancy. He had come to realize the cancer had to leave because of what Jesus had already done for him, and about five months later, his chest was clear.

These are just two examples of how it works! You may have a different situation, but these same truths will work for you too. Remember, healing is your bread-it belongs to you. Once you have that settled, your childlike faith will be rekindled that God has already done it.

Then you need to take your authority over the devil and walk out what you believe.

Visit Andrew's website.



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How Do Fireflies Glow & Why

From Central Virginia Electric Cooperative




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Care & Feeding of Aging Dogs

Care & Feeding of Aging Dogs
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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Is God Testing You?

by Clint Byars
Forward Ministries

"God won't put more on your than you can handle."

Have you ever heard that?

Have you ever said that?

Do you believe that?

There's on major problem, that's not what that passage says.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

There are a couple of things to notice here:

It doesn't say God is putting anything on you
God provides a way out because he is faithful

Now read James 1:13

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone...

James tells us not to say that the temptation is from God. This is the same word from the previous passage that so many people misquote. The word "temptation" is also translated as tests and trials in other places. James tells to not blame tests and trials on God.

He goes on to say it's the good things that are from God. The world will pressure us with tribulation and we may suffer persecution for standing up for our faith but those are not things that God is doing to us, those are from the world and people.

No doubt you have been taught that God will create trials for you to develop patience or character or maturity. If you can go through something physical and gain something from God then you can boast in your own strength. Every fruit that God wants to develop in your life is spiritual and manifests through your heart. God doesn't give spiritual fruit as rewards for something you've done in your flesh, no matter how noble or outwardly holy it appears.

James is a bit like Elihu was to Job. Job had made incorrect statements about the character of God and blamed him for the loss he experienced. Elihu rebukes Job and his friends for concluding that Job is more loving than God. Then God himself shows up and says that Job didn't know what he was talking about when he said all those things and finally Job repents. That's a brief summation but I urge you to read the entire book of Job and realize that when Job repents, it's for everything he said, all the way back to the beginning of the book.

James comes in like Elihu to his audience and corrects them for all the complaining they're doing against God. This is evident in the rest of his letter because he deals with the tongue so much.

The good news is God is not our problem. God is our protector and our deliverer. He's the safe place and strong tower in which we take refuge, not the architect of everything terrible in our lives.

Listen to this free message in which I further elaborate on the ideas in this article.


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